WFP Emergency Report No. 48 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 26 Nov 2004


(A) Highlights

(B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan

(C) East and Central Africa: East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Kenya, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Uganda

(D) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia

(E) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Malawi, (5) Mozambique, (6) Namibia, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zimbabwe

(F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) DPR Korea, (3) Indonesia

(G) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (4) Haiti, (5) Nicaragua.

From David Kaatrud, Director of the Analysis, Assessment and Preparedness Service (ODA). Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (ODAP). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone +39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Brenda.Barton@wfp.org, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP Headquarters is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Highlights:

  • Following the military actions by the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Government of Sudan (GoS) forces in and around Talwilah town in North Darfur on 22 November, all WFP operations were suspended in this area and staff were evacuated.
  • All WFP sub offices in Cote d'Ivoire are open and WFP has been able to transport commodities without major incident.
  • WFP is preparing for emergency interventions after heavy rains in Somalia.
  • Despite ongoing tensions in Haiti, food distributions were not affected, and the replacement of general food distributions by targeted distributions in Gonaives could be brought into effect.

B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) The safe release of the three UN hostages working with the UN Joint Electoral Monitoring Board on Tuesday, 23 November 2004 in Kabul was the highlight of the week in Afghanistan's humanitarian community.

(b) Although the overall security situation in the country remained relatively calm, in the east, missions to Khost province were temporarily suspended and the Province of Paktika continued to be inaccessible due to insecurity. In the west, UN missions and NGOs have been advised not to travel to five districts in Farah province, also due to insecurity. In the north, localized fighting in Zari district, of Balkh province, has led to the suspension of UN missions till further notice.

(c) During the reporting period, 665,110 beneficiaries received over 5,615 tons of food. Due to heavy rains, road networks in Badakhshan have deteriorated, hampering food deliveries to Ishkashim. WFP is coordinating food distribution with the Governor of Ishkashim in order to ensure that beneficiaries receive their entitlements. A coordination meeting took place in Kabul to discuss snow removal in order to keep major roads operational during winter. Solidarites, UNOPS, MADERA and WFP will direct this activity. By the 24th November, over 18,000 tons of mixed food out of the planned 22,705 tons had been pre-positioned in remote districts that become inaccessible during winter.

(d) In preparation of the launch of a five year development program in Kandahar province, weekly coordination meetings between donors, UN agencies, NGOs and government counterparts are currently taking place at the Governor's office. A brainstorming session was held in Kandahar, to discuss implementation strategies for the forthcoming launch of the reforestation project, the 'Greening of Afghanistan Initiative' (GAIN). A working group, comprising NGOs, UN agencies and government representatives, chaired by WFP, was established to design, coordinate and support GAIN projects.

(e) In Mazari Sharif, a WFP team is on mission in Maimana to conduct capacity building training for government counterparts and cooperating partners in project reporting.

C) East and Central Africa: East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Kenya, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Uganda

1) Burundi

(a) Demobilization activities for approximately 70,000 combatants from all former rebel movements and the national army will start on 29 November. It is planned to demobilize the first 10,000 combatants within the next three months. WFP will provide food to the three demobilization centres set up countrywide and the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Reinsertion and Reintegration will ensure food management and distribution.

(b) Although no major military confrontation was reported last week, acts of armed banditry continued. A stronger response by the authorities to combat crime has been noted in Bujumbura town.

(c) Between 15 and 21 November, WFP distributed a total of 1,750 tons of food aid to some 246,900 beneficiaries through different programme activities. Special attention was paid to Kirundo province due to its precarious food security situation and the returning population from Rwanda during the last few weeks. Over 1,500 tons of food commodities have been distributed in the province as emergency rations during the last three weeks. The provincial Governor reported a further need for food assistance to an additional 4,000 households in Ntega commune. WFP is reviewing this request and will soon assess the food security situation in Ntega again.

(d) Last week 145 returnees from Tanzania, arriving through transit points at the border provinces of Muyinga, Ruyigi and Makamba, received returnee packages. The number of returnees from Tanzania has significantly reduced over the previous weeks. All returnees are entitled to receive a WFP three-month return package. Current plans are for 2,000 returnees from Tanzania per month.

(e) Following a request for assistance to spontaneous returnees by administrators in Rutana province, WFP teams visited the province and found that 1,085 families had returned spontaneously from Tanzania to the communes of Giharo, Rutana and Mpinga-Kayove, between January and November, without having received returnee packages.

(f) A hailstorm devastated farms in four communes of Ngozi province. WFP will carry out a rapid assessment in the affected areas to determine the impact of the hail on food security and to establish whether or not a food assistance intervention is required and if so, what kind of intervention is suitable.

(g) The pipeline situation for the forthcoming months has started to improve; however, breaks are still expected for various food commodities between November 2004 and February 2005. WFP has been adjusting distribution plans and using commodity substitutions to address the gaps and ensure planned distributions to the extent possible.

2) D.R. Congo

(a) Persistent insecurity, including targeted murders, are still reported in eastern DRC. South Kivu province was in focus due to growing tensions between government troops and various militia groups. Humanitarian activities in territories such as Uvira, Mwenga and Kabare were reduced.

(b) WFP released a total of some 960 tons of food commodities from its warehouses in Goma, Bukavu, Bunia and Kisangani to feed over 150,000 targeted beneficiaries under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Programme (PRRO). In Kisangani, sets of non-food items (NFIs) were provided to several schools implementing school feeding activities with WFP support.

(c) In North Kivu province, WFP, PRONANUT (the national body in charge of nutrition issues) and health zones officials fielded an assessment mission in various nutrition centres located between 9 and 10 kms from Goma. In some nutrition centres, the team screened as many as 15 newly arrived severely malnourished children. According to the mothers of the newly admitted, the poor nutritional status of their children resulted from: (i) the "irresponsible behaviour" of their husbands, who, although poor are involved in polygamy or drunkenness, and (ii) lack of time to accompany children to nutritional centres. The mothers had become the food providers for the households and therefore cannot give adequate attention to the child. The assessment team concluded, among others, that further efforts should be made to encourage mothers to bring their malnourished children to nutritional centres.

3) Eritrea

(a) Eritrea's fuel crisis continues: even with ration coupons, the purchase of diesel has become a problem since most of the filling stations have run out of stock. WFP's sub offices have been instructed to suspend monitoring activities. Food deliveries are authorized as normal; however, the fuel shortages are resulting in delays in distribution.

(b) Central and eastern parts of the country report adverse weather conditions, further increasing food insecurity. The majority of residents depend mainly on food aid. Cereal crops suffered from lack of rain during the vegetative growth stages and crop residues are being utilized as animal fodder. Being worried about the shortage of animal fodder, farmers have begun selling their livestock, especially cattle. The price per head of cattle, which was 5,000 - 6,000 Nakfa three months ago, has now dropped to 3,500 - 4,000 Nakfa (1USD = 13.55 Nakfa). Water for human and animal consumption has become scarce. Areas with a sufficient water supply at this time in "normal" years are experiencing severe shortages. Many depend on water trucking and prices per drum of water have nearly doubled.

(c) Most of the areas in the eastern regions of the country remain dry, despite the rainy season. The underground water levels have fallen sharply and some water points have dried up. In addition, the sorghum planted in some sub-regions is suffering from pest attacks, which are severely damaging the crop. The Ministry of Agriculture awaits the arrival of pesticides which are expected before 30 November 2004.

(d) In the south-western parts of the country water levels are above the long-term average and WFP field staff report that water stored in dams will last for several months. The harvest prospects in this region look better. The late sorghum variety has reached the heading stage and other varieties are at the maturity stage in many areas of this region. In addition, the late chickpeas as well as other types of pulses are seen growing in vast areas. In general, taff, sorghum and especially millet are expected to have higher yields than last year. The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission at present in Eritrea will quantify harvest prospects.

(e) The resourcing situation remains unchanged for both PRRO 10192.0, Food Assistance to War and Drought affected Persons in Eritrea, and EMOP 10261.1 Emergency Food Assistance to Victims of Crop Failure in Eritrea due to Drought. At 22 November, about 82,400 tons of food, worth USD 28.1 million, had been resourced under EMOP 10261.1 This represents 77 percent of the total resource requirements for this operation. For PRRO 10192.0, WFP mobilized 52,700 tons of food commodities valued at USD 26.8 million. Thus, about 50 percent of the planned food requirements are covered.

4) Ethiopia

(a) The 2004 National Multi-agency Meher and Pastoral Area Emergency Needs Assessment is coming to an end, with assessment teams returning from the field today, 26 November. The purpose of this mission was to assess the food security prospects for 2005 in both crop growing areas and pastoral regions/zones of the country, in addition to identifying the number of people who will require relief food assistance in 2005. A federal level debriefing will be presented to the local humanitarian community on 30 November, whilst regional level reports will be submitted by beginning of December. Any food needs additional to those covered by the Productive Safety Net Program in 2005 will be addressed through emergency food distributions.

(b) The joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, currently being undertaken countrywide, will conclude field visits on 28 November and debriefing sessions will be held with partners in the capital during the coming week. Final results from this mission are expected to be released in January.

(c) The Government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) is currently allocating food rations for November to local authorities. A total of 34,000 tons of cereals, oil and blended food have been allocated so far to Tigray, Afar, Southern Nations and Nationalities People Region (SNNPR) and Oromia regions. Additional allocations to Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions are underway.

(d) For December, a total amount of 57,000 tons of food is required to cover the beneficiary needs through relief assistance. While commodities such as pulses, oil and blended food are fully covered for the rest of the year, a pipeline break of 9,000 tons cereals will occur in December. Minor carryover contributions of pulses, oil and blended food are expected for 2005. Due to the lead-time necessary for procurement and delivery of these commodities, pulses, oil and blended food have been scheduled ahead of time to avoid pipeline breaks early next year.

(e) Beneficiary figures for December 2004 stand at 2.8 million people, which is a reduction from the peak month of August, when 7.8 million people were in need of relief assistance. Beneficiary figures are usually at its lowest this time of the year, as the major harvesting season is being concluded.

5) Kenya

(a) WFP expects to provide relief food assistance to nearly 2.2 million beneficiaries during the months of November and December under Emergency Operation 10374.0, Food-Assistance to Drought-affected People in Kenya. Food distributions are ongoing in all the drought affected districts. However, there are some delays in food deliveries due to heavy rains, which have cut off some roads especially in the northern and north-eastern parts of Kenya. The EMOP is only 62 percent resourced. Due to resourcing shortfalls and the late deliveries to Kenya, the operation has suffered from an incomplete food basket and so far only maize has been distributed. In November, CSB and vegetable oil are being distributed to only the worst affected districts.

(b) Nutritional assessments co-ordinated by UNICEF and carried out by OXFAM Great Britain (GB) in Wajir District, and by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF in Garissa District in October revealed exceptionally high rates of child malnutrition. In Wajir West, the Global Acute Malnutrition is 31.5 percent, whereas in Garissa District it is 16.5 percent. In both districts, 3.5 percent of the children are severely malnourished and in need of immediate assistance. Preparations for a food security assessment to be carried out in December in the pastoral drought-affected districts are underway. Food assessments in the marginal agricultural districts of Eastern and Coast Provinces are planned for January 2005.

(c) The condition of the Garrisa - Dadaab road is deteriorating as a result of the heavy rains. WFP vehicles and trucks carrying WFP food to Dadaab refugee camps continue to get stuck almost every week. This is not only posing a security threat to WFP staff, since this area is in UN Security Phase III, but is also delaying food deliveries to the camps. Currently, there is not enough food in stock to cover the next distribution, as trucks are not able to reach the camps. Furthermore, the Garissa District Commissioner has issued a directive barring trucks with over 10 tons of cargo from using the road. This will greatly affect the operation in the refugee camps since WFP trucks carry over 30 tons. WFP is funding emergency road repairs on the Garissa - Dadaab road.

6) Rwanda

(a) The security situation remained calm in all camps in Rwanda during the past week. During the past week there was an increase in the caseload at Ngenda transit camp, from 952 to 1,148 Burundian refugees. In Kigeme refugee camp, 40 refugees were repatriated. These changes brought the total number of Burundian refugees in Rwanda to 2,688 after 58 people had voluntarily returned to Burundi. With regard to Congolese refugees, a total of 225 new arrivals were reported at Kiziba camp in Kibuye (186) and Nkamira transit centre in Gisenyi province (39). The total number of refugees in Rwanda now stands at some 44,240 refugees in all three camps and the four transit centres Negotiations to relocate all refugees currently in transit centres to a more stable location are still under way between UNHCR and the Ministry of Local Government.

(b) WFP has distributed a one-month food ration to all refugees in camps and transit centres.

7) Somalia

(a) Most parts of the country continue to experience heavy rains resulting in floods with rivers breaking their banks, disrupting livelihood systems and endangering communities. These floods are affecting communities in both the north and south, which have had to cope with more than three consecutive years of devastating droughts.

(b) In Las Qoray, Sanag region in north Somalia, serious flash floods combined with mudslides cut off road access and destroyed some 50 houses, leaving hundreds of households in need of humanitarian assistance. WFP is preparing for an emergency intervention together with UNICEF and local NGOs.

(c) In Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region in the south, floods have seriously affected two-thirds of the town isolating some sections where the only means of movement is by boat. Moreover, in the rural areas of Jowhar, floods are covering farmlands that had been prepared and are now rendered untilled and inaccessible. The coping mechanisms of the affected farmers were over-stretched before the onset of the present crisis due to drought, insecurity and lack of government institutions. Begging on the streets of Jowhar and Mogadishu is increasing dramatically, while those left behind are surviving on wild fruits, unripe mangos and bananas. WFP and UNICEF, with support from local authorities, assessed the situation for possible relief intervention.

(d) Large areas of Juba Valley in southern Somalia have also been flooded, with thousands of hectares of farmland covered by stagnant floodwaters. A lot of farms and properties have been destroyed with loss of crops and housing. The districts most affected are Jamaame, Buale and Marere. According to a local residents, the Deyr rains (Sept. - Dec.) not only started early this year, but have been the heaviest reported in years. The cause of the present crisis in Juba Valley is a combination of protracted insecurity, marginalisation and recent flash floods caused by heavy rains and overflow from the Juba River cutting off roads and therefore stopping business activities between the towns and villages. WFP has pre-positioned 824 tons for general relief distribution in the port city of Kismayu, while transport to the lower Juba Valley is delayed due to impassable muddy roads and the prevailing insecurity.

(e) Despite the heavy rains and floods in most parts of the country, WFP Somalia continued its emergency relief distributions targeting flood victims in the northwest and northeast with some 550 tons of assorted food commodities, reaching 26,000 beneficiaries in areas that have been heavily affected by years of drought and that are now facing further massive livestock losses.

8) Sudan

(a) Following the military actions by the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Government of Sudan (GoS) forces in and around Talwilah town in North Darfur on 22 November, all WFP operations were suspended in this area and UN staff and NGO personnel have been evacuated. Prior to the incidents, reports indicated that there were ongoing clashes in the area around the town between the GoS and SLA. As a consequence of the recent events and the increasing insecurity, United Nations Security Co-ordination (UNSECOORD) has suspended all UN activities in SLA areas. WFP operations covered by WFP El Fasher Area Office (AO) have been put on hold, as all corridors out of El Fasher are closed. Currently, WFP has six staff members in the GoS held town, Kutum.

(b) Total dispatches in November from AOs to distribution sites stand at some 11,900 tons of food for an estimated 679,200 beneficiaries (based of dispatches). Dispatches from AOs to Cooperating Partners (CPs) indicate that beneficiaries will receive a balanced and complete food basket in November. By 22 November, a total of over 19,565 tons of food had been dispatched by road, rail and air from hubs in Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals.

(c) As a follow up to the GOAL nutrition survey carried out in Kutum, North Darfur, a meeting was held between GAA, GOAL and WFP to discuss possible reasons behind the high rates of malnutrition - Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) 23.9 percent and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) 1.7 percent. The meeting pointed out that (i) the high incidence of diarrhoea cases during the rainy season (August/September) prior to the survey in October and (ii) the continuous population movement in the locations, were some of the factors that had a direct impact to the high rates of malnutrition. The meeting agreed to undertake an inter-agency population verification exercise and review population figures.

(d) Confirmed contributions received to date against the current EMOP amount to USD 181,095,475 representing 89 percent of the total requirement (project ends 31 Dec 2004). For 2005, changes in ration sizes have been incorporated to compensate for milling losses and to improve the iodine deficiency among the beneficiaries. Thus, the amount of salt has increased and sugar has been included in the general food distribution basket. The majority of Special Operations (SOs) are fairly well funded (92 percent resourced). However, SO 10364.0, for the inter-agency security telecommunications network, remains a concern. Currently, the SO has a 50 percent shortfall. The lack of resources will result in a closure of the project within a week.

9) Uganda

(a) Tentative moves towards talks between the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels continue. Although the original one-week ceasefire expired on Monday evening 22 November, a further one-week extension of a GoU ceasefire in a limited area of northern Uganda is anticipated in order to provide rebel forces with an opportunity to gather to discuss further steps towards dialogue. Some rebel forces have moved into the designated 300 sq. mile ceasefire zone, although others remain outside the zone in northern Uganda and in southern Sudan.

(b) Despite the renewed efforts towards peace, the security situation in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts remained unpredictable with a number of ambushes and attacks on civilians. In one particularly gruesome attack, the LRA abducted 11 civilians in Patiko sub-county, Gulu district on 23 November and killed two.

(c) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.4 million displaced persons in over 135 crowded IDP camps in four districts; 154,000 refugees in 66 settlements; and other vulnerable persons. During the period 8 to 13 November 2004, 3,460 tons of WFP food assistance were distributed to some 317,900 persons including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts in the northern Uganda; refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons.

(d) Preliminary results of the WFP/UNICEF/Ministry of Health (MOH) August nutrition assessment in the semi-pastoral Karamoja region indicate a global acute malnutrition rate for children under five years of 18.7 percent in the three districts. This is above the critical 15 percent level but is a slight improvement from 22 percent in May 2003. Interventions beyond food assistance are required. WFP will continue with school feeding interventions as well as expand supplementary feeding for vulnerable groups. WFP plans to commence targeted drought-relief assistance in January 2005 in the most-affected sub-counties.

(e) A WFP evaluation mission is presently in Uganda to review the WFP/UNHCR pilot secondary food distribution operations in refugee-hosting districts.

(f) A Swedish mission visited WFP-assisted areas in Gulu and Lira districts on 22 and 23 November. A donor mission of the Netherlands, Danish and US ambassadors visited the West Nile region on 18 and 19 November 2004, together with the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs and UNHCR Representative. The delegation visited WFP-assisted projects in Arua, Adjumani and Moyo districts. The delegation expressed appreciation for GoU's hospitality to Sudanese refugees over the years and indicated that donors are willing to assist refugee-hosting districts under the Development Assistance for Refugees programme.

D) West Africa Region: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia

1) Chad

(a) The security situation in Chad remained tense. Chadian military movements were reported in Eastern Chad, particularly around the Adre border. The military reportedly conducted searches for weapons and communication equipment in Touloum. Due to intense military movement in the Tine area, Government authorities are planning to transfer the Tine market into Iriba. WFP is monitoring population movements in the Guereda area due to alleged armed troop movements from Koulbous in Sudan.

(b) In Amnabak camp, refugees reportedly attacked an Islamic organisation that arrived to distribute its own food. The refugees expressed reluctance and suspicion on whether the food is poisoned. One of the organisation's workers was reportedly injured. WFP and UNHCR were not aware of this initiative and have strongly advised that any such action in favour of refugees be conducted through the existing humanitarian forums.

(c) Cases of Hepatitis E were reported by WHO in the refugee camps of Goz Amir, Djabal, Treguine and Bredjing and also among local populations living around the camps. International NGOs managing the camps plan to launch a campaign to inform refugees and local residents about hygiene and sanitation.

(d) A Sudanese delegation led by the Minister of Environment visited Iriba at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and was due to visit Iridimi, Amnabak and Touloum refugee camps. Due to tension in the camps, Iriba authorities advised the delegation to stay and meet with the three camps' representatives there. Iridimi representatives however refused to join the talks.

(e) The estimated caseload reported by UNHCR at 23 November stands at 197,600 refugees. This consists of some 195,000 refugees registered in camps, and some 2,600 located at border sites. UNHCR plans to conduct a formal registration of refugees, and WFP and partners will be fully involved in the exercise.

(f) WFP, under Emergency Operation (EMOP) 10327.0, Emergency Assistance to Sudanese Refugees in Eastern Chad, has started the second General Food Distribution cycle for November, and has so far distributed some 205 tons of reduced general food rations to over 30,625 beneficiaries. The next Blanket Supplementary Food distributions will begin this week, with reduced rations planned exceptionally for November. Some 1,700 tons of sorghum are expected to arrive from Nigeria this week.

(g) WFP UN Humanitarian Air Services delivered approximately one ton of ICT equipment for UNHCR from N'Djamena to Abéché this week. The first regional flight on the N'Djamena-Yaoundé-Bangui routing took place on 20 November.

(h) The Rapid Emergency Food Needs Assessment Mission in Eastern Chad has been completed.

2) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) France now has almost 5,000 peacekeepers in the country: 1,000 of them are new reinforcements brought in from neighbouring countries. The airport in Abidjan has been returned to civilian authorities, although the French forces continue to ensure security.

(b) All WFP sub-offices in Cote d'Ivoire are open. However, distributions are still constrained by the security situation. Access problems feared in crossing the buffer zone from south to north have not materialized, and WFP is able to transport commodities without major incident and in coordination with the Ivorian army civil-military liaison authorities. WFP's humanitarian air service operation has suspended flights to Man until further notice, due to harassment of the crew and passengers by armed elements of the Forces Nouvelles on 25 November.

(c) From 19 to 25 November, 125 tons of various food commodities were distributed to over 4,800 people.

(d) An assessment mission is being carried out on the Liberian border near Zouan-Hounien and Bin Houye and in the area between Man and Guiglo to evaluate the humanitarian situation and population movements.

3) Liberia

(a) UNHCR stated that at 21st November approximately 10,000 registered Ivorian refugees had crossed into Liberia. WFP has airlifted 50 tons of food through UNMIL helicopters to the area, and will start food distribution as soon as UNHCR completes its verification process.

(b) Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees continue to return to counties declared safe by UNMIL and the National Transition Government. Between 16 and 23 November, a total of 1,276 IDPs were resettled to their preferred places of return in three convoys

(c) From17 to 23 November, 1,850 tons of food were distributed to 196,000 beneficiaries. The food pipeline continues to face critical shortages, and since June, WFP has been forced to distribute reduced rations to refugees, returnees and IDPs receiving WFP support.

(d) During the past week, WFP held a series of planning meetings with various partners for the planned Bomi County Nutrition and Food Security survey. The survey will provide baseline data on health & nutrition and the food security situation in the county, in order to assist the planning and proper targeting of aid interventions and to allow proper impact assessment in future.

(e) New contributions continue to be needed in order for WFP to be able to provide full rations and complete programmes in the coming months.

E) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Malawi, (5) Mozambique, (6) Namibia, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zimbabwe

1) Regional

(a) WFP is urgently approaching donors to secure cash contributions for local and regional procurement of food for the first months of the regional PRRO 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS. WFP plans to reach a peak of 2.8 million beneficiaries in 2005, including 510,000 in Lesotho, 1.17 million in Malawi and 165,000 in Swaziland who require short-term emergency aid until the first half of the year, due to drought.

(b) Seasonal rainfall has started in many parts of the region, with heavy falls in Angola and more sporadic conditions further south and east in the region.

2) Angola

(a) Since the inception of Angola's PRRO 10054.2, Support to Return and Resettlement, in April this year, WFP has assisted with the repatriation of 49,000 refugees from Zambia and Namibia. An additional 3,000 are scheduled for repatriation by early December.

(b) The PRRO requires about USD 60 million, equivalent to 90,000 tons, to meet food distribution requirements through December 2005.

3) Lesotho

(a) From 17 to 23 November, WFP and its partners distributed 940 tons of food to 76,000 vulnerable people, including households affected by HIV/AIDS.

4) Malawi

(a) According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-Net), Malawi could be facing a 'price famine', due to the impact of rising commodity prices on its vulnerable population.

(b) The report warned that the situation could turn out to be worse than in the crisis of 2001, since the state grain distributor, ADMARC, has just increased its maize price by 70 percent at a time when the local market prices are already extremely high. Private traders are likely to raise their prices in response, leaving more families unable to purchase enough food. In addition, rural incomes have fallen due to the poor harvest and a lack of seasonal agricultural employment opportunities.

(c) WFP is aiming to assist 1.17 million people in Malawi in the first quarter of 2005. However, resource shortfalls mean that WFP Malawi starts the new year with no cereal stocks, apart from grain, which is currently being procured using a USD 7 million advance from WFP's Immediate Response Account.

5) Mozambique

(a) WFP plans to provide 12,000 tons of food to 350,000 vulnerable people in the first quarter of 2005. The Programme continues to closely monitor food insecurity, particularly in drought-affected areas in the coastal areas of Nampula Province and in the central and southern provinces.

6) Namibia

(a) About 8,000 orphans and vulnerable children received WFP food from 17 to 23 November. The children are located in four northern regions bordering Angola, where HIV prevalence rates go up to 40 percent.

7) Swaziland

(a) WFP concluded the local purchase of some 1,800 tons of maize worth USD 365,000 from the National Maize Corporation for the emergency operations in Swaziland.

8) Zimbabwe

(a) Economic conditions continue to deteriorate in Zimbabwe, particularly affecting low income earners and the large number of unemployed. The latest market price of maize in Harare is ZIM$13.00 per kg (equivalent to USD 153/ton at the prevailing parallel market rate). This represents an increase of 64 percent from the seasonal low in June 2004. In Masvingo town, in Zimbabwe's south-east, there has been a 180 percent increase since the June seasonal low, and the current prevailing price is ZIM$1600 per kg. A further indicator of economic disruption is the disparity between the parallel market and Government auction rates for foreign exchange. The disparity has widened to 50 percent by mid-November, compared with near parity when the current system of forex auctions was introduced in January this year.

F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) DPR Korea, (3) Indonesia

1) Bangladesh

(a) The lean season is coming to a close in some parts of Bangladesh, as harvesting of Aman-paddy crop begins and offers labour opportunities. There are conflicting reports of both good and poor harvests in some areas. Temperatures continue to drop, with night-time temperatures reaching mid-teens (centigrade)

(b) Under the Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation component of EMOP 10380, Assistance to Flood Affected People in Bangladesh, free food distributions amounting to over 19,070 tons, have been completed for the month of November. Distribution for December is unlikely to be carried out due to shortage of resources.

(c) Since September, a total of 600,000 primary school children have been receiving high energy biscuits, and the monthly utilization is around 1000 tons.

(d) Preparations for the implementation of the EMOP's Supplementary Feeding Programme are almost finalized; food distributions are scheduled to begin by 15 December.

(e) The Government of Bangladesh provided a contribution of about 135 tons of vegetable oil. A one-off distribution of the vegetable oil, to about 330,000 beneficiaries, is in progress.

(f) WFP received a confirmation of a USD 1 million contribution for the EMOP's Rural Livelihoods and Infrastructure Rehabilitation component (food-for-work). However, the overall resourcing level of the EMOP remains largely inadequate, representing only 32 percent of the total needs.

2) DPR Korea

(a) All 19 Local Food Production factories were operational from 20 to 26 November. However, monitoring of the CMB factory in Huichon was not possible due to the inaccessibility of Chagang province. Production for the third week of November was over 1,400 tons, which is equivalent to the EMOP weekly requirement.

(b) With the recent arrival of large contributions, WFP is now able to feed the entire caseload of 6,5 million beneficiaries for the first time in 2 years. Substantive new pledges will allow WFP to continue this support through May 2005, with the exception of oil that will run out as early as January for some beneficiary groups.

3) Indonesia

(a) Following Indonesia's first democratic elections, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jusuf Kalla were inaugurated as the President and Vice-President respectively, of the Republic of Indonesia. They will each serve a five-year term.

(b) After a year of relative peace, a violent communal conflict erupted again on 9 October in Aralle District, Mamasa regency, West Sulawesi Province, leaving scores of homes and a church burned. The renewed conflict began to flare up on 7 October when minor clashes occurred between those who supported and those who opposed a split of Polewali Mamasa into 2 regencies, Polewali Mamasa and Mamasa.

(c) The Government of Indonesia's ban on rice imports is still in force. WFP has received exemptions, from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, for all its shipments, constituting 19,675 tons, which will arrive before the end of this year.

(d) In October, approximately 1.16 million beneficiaries, under the various PRRO and pilot activities, received WFP food assistance amounting to some 2,525 tons. Due to the lengthy process of customs clearance (exemption from the rice import ban), the Subsidized Rice Program (OPSM) distribution was not conducted until the last two weeks of October. WFP held follow-up meetings with the central and district Governments to socialize the objective and action plans under the OPSM phase out plan which will start in January 2005 in West Java.

(e) A total of 84 tons of biscuits, and some 24 tons of fried and dried noodles were released for distribution to cover the requests for the Posyandu programme and the School Feeding Programme in September-October.

(f) With respect to the Posyandu Programme, the first draft report of the baseline study was presented by PUSKA to the University of Indonesia. The results showed that the targeting of the Posyandu Programme is appropriate for children under five, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Bogor district and Tangerang district show the highest percentage of stunting, wasting and those severely underweight, due to a lack of access to food and a lack of education.

(g) The preliminary result of the School Feeding Baseline Survey was presented by the Indonesian research institution SEOMEO. Though the study was conducted among rather healthier children, the rates of malnutrition were high (stunting 31 percent on average). Worm infestation was very high in Tangerang (86 percent), but low in Jakarta (15 percent) because of the de-worming campaign

(h) Under the Vulnerable Groups Support component of the PRRO, Amon, WFP distributed rice amounting to 25 tons to assist some 4,760 TB patients under the pilot project areas. WFP also started the first distributions of biscuits and noodles to schools and posyandus under the Pilot Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme at the end of September/early October. In order to prepare for the expansion phase starting in January 2005, a series of meetings took place with the potential NGO partners. TB as well as Posyandu and School Programme under the Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme (NRP) were presented to the partners requesting their operational proposals and budgets. Makassar was visited to select the priority areas and confirm beneficiary numbers. WFP is looking for potential local NGOs to partner with. During an official ceremony weight and height scales donated by Japanese insurance firm, Tokio Marine, were provided to Posyandu representatives at Kapuk school in Tangerang on 13 October.

(i) WFP provided emergency response food distributions, most of them under food-for-work schemes, in Maluku, Central Sulawesi, East Java and West Timor.

(j) Thirty-nine pre-proposals for Community Development Projects (CDP) are with NGOs for finalization, and 10 proposals are with the national development planning agency Bappenas for final approval. A total of 38 projects have been completed since the start of the CDP program in December 2002.

(k) WFP's vulnerability data validation process was completed and analysis and mapping was initiated. Some 265 districts will be included in the analysis. The release of the Food Insecurity Atlas is scheduled for mid December. In addition, WFP prepared the Poverty Map and Nutrition Status regarding children under five, pregnant women and lactating mothers in South Sulawesi, in order to support programme expansion to that area

(l) Box Magazine, a publication which supports children's charities through its subscription revenues, launched its first Indonesian edition. WFP has been selected as one of its recipients to receive financial support.

G) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (4) Haiti, (5) Nicaragua.

1) Bolivia

(a) The drought affected El Chaco region has little water left in the reservoirs and the livestock situation is getting worse, many are dying. Affected families are waiting for the rain to dampen their fields in order to start sowing.

(b) The civic committees of El Alto city are announcing a strike for an indefinite time, starting on Monday 29 November, asking for the termination of contracts with water and electricity international suppliers.

(c) Emergency food distributions from WFP's Immediate Response Account were completed in the Department of Chuquisaca last week, benefiting some 6,800 families. A total of 525 tons, representing 90 percent of the programmed tonnage, has already been distributed to about 8,630 families. It is expected that one of these days follow-up EMOP 10392.0 will start.

(d) WFP is continuously holding meetings with the international donor community in order to mobilize resources for EL Chaco drought response EMOP 10392.0. The beneficiary communities of El Chaco insisted to use the received food assistance as an incentive to carry out Food-for-Work/Food-for-Training activities, and only to use general distributions for families that are unable to work or to attend training events. They are undertaking activities of land reclamation, water reservoirs reparation, road improvement, potable water systems reparation and communal vegetable gardens construction.

2) Colombia

(a) Heavy rains throughout the country have caused floods and landslides in Colombia, leaving some 20 people dead and over 334,000 homeless in 25 of the 32 provinces since September. A volcanic eruption in the province of Nariño, southwest Colombia, sent smoke and ash into the sky and triggered safety planning for neighboring villagers. Official reports on last week's earthquake note some 6.275 affected people in 10 municipalities in two provinces; at least 439 houses and 9 schools were destroyed.

(b) Urban displacement in Colombia is on the rise, according to the Colombian Government's Human Rights Ombudsperson, particularly in the cities of Bogota, Medellín and Barrancabermeja. In two separate events, 13 people who were kidnapped by an illegal armed group in the province of Choco were released by their captors. Colombia's right-wing illegal armed groups have begun to demobilize a large number of their illegal rebels.

(c) A total of over 260 tons of food were delivered last week in the context of the PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence. The food was distributed in 11 provinces reaching some 39,080 people. The commodities were distributed in Pre-School and School Feeding activities, Community Kitchens and Food for Work activities.

3) Haiti

(a) The entire country remains in UN security phase III. Violence increased in specific sensitive areas of Port-au-Prince. Stores were damaged and shooting incidents and kidnappingstook place. The security situation improved in Gonaïves, thanks to an increase in MINUSTAH and Haitian National Police patrols. However some tensions remain, due to the authorities' intention to arrest an armed group leader, legally accused of the murder of a young girl in Gonaives. The leader's partisans blocked streets and burned tires in the Roboteau area.

(b) The overall situation in the rest of the country remained stable with some burnt tires and roadblocks registered in St Marc. Demonstrators were reacting to the Government's decision to ban as of 1 December main imports (namely of refrigerated goods) through provincial ports. The Government responded by announcing that it would reschedule its decision to 1 January 2005.

(c) During the past week, WFP food convoys have continued to reach Gonaïves without any incidents. However, security measures, such as better coordination between involved UN agencies and aid organizations, have been increased. Over 115 tons of food commodities were distributed by WFP's implementing partner CARE to some 40,205 beneficiaries in localities that had been heavily impacted by the inundations, located on the outskirts of the city of Gonaïves. Distributions were held in up to 17 distribution sites, such as schools, health centres, shelters, orphanages, NGOs, and town halls, per day. General distributions have been replaced by targeted distributions in Gonaïves now.The total of food distributed in Gonaïves and its outskirts since the onset of the crisis is about 2,295 tons, while the total of food distributed in other affected areas is over 165 tons.

(d) Also during the past week, some 257 tons of food were distributed under the regular programmes, to health centres (EMOP and CP) and schools (CP) in the West, North and North-East departments. A modified ration was used to accommodate in-country available stocks (CER reduced and CSB increased).

(e) Training for implementing partners in school feeding and de-worming activities was carried out in Cap Haitien, Ouanaminthe, and Pignon.

4) Nicaragua

(a) The prices of beans fell this week after a dramatic rise in prices over the last couple of weeks, as the, reportedly good, second harvest (Postrera) is beginning to be marketed this and coming weeks. However, the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System (MFEWS) reported reduced soil humidity in North-eastern Nicaragua, which could reduce the harvest. WFP is monitoring the situation.

(b) Food distributions under PRRO 10212.0 continue. Currently, under the PRRO, a total of some 67,465 school children are being assisted in the autonomous region RAAN and about 11,495 school children in the municipality of Matagalpa. In addition, some 10,025 vulnerable children under 2 years of age; about 8,730 expectant and nursing women and 2,000 poor rural families are also being assisted in the northern and central region of the country.

(c) PRRO 10212.0 will face shortfalls through April 2005, beginning in January, of rice (470 tons); in March, of beans (280 tons), of vegetable oil (130 tons) and maize (570 tons). If no commodities are announced in the coming months, or those that are announced arrive late, the PRRO will face serious pipeline breaks during the second quarter of next year.

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons (MT).